Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 013
2016 May

Personal hope of youth and their social aspiration

The creation of the movie "Ten Years" has aroused tremendous resonance in just a couple of months, it takes everyone by surprise in being awarded the best film in Hong Kong Film Awards. Over 50 organisations screened the film on the same date simultaneously all over Hong Kong, it tinged the most sensitive political issues… Nevertheless, "Ten Years" left us with hopelessness, helplessness, and murkiness or was it a strong thrust to fight for a hopeful future???

To the younger generation, is Hong Kong a hopeless place, or is it a place to fulfil your dreams?

Personal hope in youth

"Hope" originates internally from belief, faith and value orientation, even though the future might seem unsure, there is the belief that it can be changed, "hope is always around the corner". According to psychology, Hope is "a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful agency (goal-directed energy) and pathways (planning to meet goals)." (Note 1)

To the younger generation, they are undergoing the stage of building up self-image, starting to query or even challenge traditional belief and value. They need the space and opportunity to explore within themselves, to unearth their unique qualities and potentials and then slowly learn to accept themselves as they are. Hope is a piece of raw material of life along this path of growth. Young people pursue their own dreams and goals. They experience the joy of accomplishment through this probing process with their strength and ability; alongside, they appreciate difficulties through which they acquire experiences and problem solving skills and uplift their motivation. They look for role models and connect with people of same interest and gaining mutual support. All these gradually mold a hopeful future.

Therefore, life should not be a tiresome contest, the value of our children are not about how early they start, how fast they run, nor should they be surrounded by other competitors. It is not achievement or award that they are after. A life with hope is a journey which they enjoy the process and the experiences with companions, without comparisons, to reach their own destinations.

The hope of the society

It is easy to comprehend that youth aspiration are closely linked to their personal hope, peers, family and school, however, the community in a macro sense cannot be neglected. In a society where economic benefits and development overrides everything, can it still develop in a balanced way? Can our youth get their deserved opportunities and resources? How their sense of hope is being affected by the society and politics?

The GlobeScan Foundation conducted a survey to study the hope index of 12 countries in 2014, major areas of the findings were: (1) Are socioeconomic, personal freedom and social cohesion better than in the past? (2) Do you believe the world is going in the right direction? And that our children and grandchildren will have a higher quality of life than we do today? (3) How likely, if at all, do you think it is that humanity will find a way to overcome our current social, environmental and economic challenges? (Note 2). Snyder (2000) mentioned that a high hope government is which people's opinions and action could influence government policies, there is a possibility to instigate change. Society enable people to contribute and is self-fulfilling, people possesses positive collective memories and experience and are proud of it … (Note 3). How would our young people rank the sense of hope in Hong Kong?

The future is carved by the younger generation, they have many "Ten years" to come. The society needs to treat them positively and take their opinions seriously, let our young people care for Hong Kong as a family and willing to instill hope for the future.

In the final scene of "Ten years"-- "Not too late" emerges, hope is just around the corner when you have the courage and persistence to instigate change.

Note 1 Snyder's hope theory and Seligman's theory on positive psychology
Note 2 The Hope Index : A Survey of Citizen Views on the State of Our World, The Globescan Foundation, September 2014;
Note 3. Snyder C. R. (2000), Handbook of Hope: Theory, Measures and Applications, Academic Press.

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